Who would-a thunk it? In my mid-70s I'm as delighted by a first week of a new semester as I ever was with school or college and I loved both school and college. Around the country there are many Academies for Lifelong Learning and even more adult education programs. Cites of all sizes have them, some are organized on a semester plan and some otherwise. Some are a bit pricy so they aren't for everyone, others are inexpensive or even free. Some are fairly academic and some are more arts and crafts. All encourage lifelong enjoyment of doing new things, keeping the gray matter churning and making new acquaintances and friends.
I came to Cape Cod four years ago knowing only my immediate family and a few of their friends. Four months later I discovered the Academy for Lifelong Learning housed at Cape Cod Community College, a 5 to 7 minute drive away. Its fees are modest, its class offerings quite varied, it is entirely volunteer, including the teachers (known as class coordinators) nearly all of whom have either been teachers at some level or have special skills they enjoy sharing (like wine appreciation or gathering and cooking local seafood). The class offerings change from semester to semester although some remain much the same for many years. For instance, I began a course in Monday with one of our most erudite and respected scholars who teachers various Shakespeare plays and yesterday I went to a poetry class which has remained much the same for about ten years. But today I will go to a class never given before about myths and lies in American history.
By now I have met many people and made new friends. I constantly meet new people. And I constantly learn new things -- which includes my personal challenge in the writing skills class I teach which is different every semester depending on the people in the class. I'm back to school this week and loving it. And I'm eager for Friday to come when I will meet my new class of writer, some returnees, some new to me or to the organization.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!